Transforming Healthcare at Jersey Shore University Medical Center

Steve Littleson, FACHE President, Jersey Shore University Medical Center Neptune, New Jersey
Steve Littleson, FACHE President, Jersey Shore University Medical Center Neptune, New Jersey
Jersey Shore University Medical Center recently underwent a $300 million transformation project, which includes new EP technology as well as green initiatives. Read more about this innovative hospital design! More than 100 years ago, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, New Jersey became an integral part of the Shore area community. What was largely a resort community then, has developed into one of New Jersey’s most densely populated and desirable places to live, work, and raise a family. Our medical center has worked to keep pace with our community, growing today into a vibrant 502-bed university teaching hospital with many specialized centers and programs, including advanced cardiac care and heart surgery. We have an outstanding medical staff, Magnet-designated nurses, and a team of talented healthcare professionals. Best of all, we have an excellent reputation for providing top-notch, quality care. This combination of advanced tertiary services and phenomenal clinical talent has driven Jersey Shore to become the community’s “hospital of choice,” resulting in a steady increase in admissions that is predicted to explode in the coming years as the region’s senior population matures. As we’ve successfully established ourselves as a preferred hospital and people are choosing us for our quality of care and services, we recognized the inevitable need to grow our physical facilities to accommodate them. After more than two years of thoughtful planning and research, Jersey Shore University Medical Center broke ground on a $300 million expansion project in 2006 to ensure that we are able to meet the rapidly growing needs of our community for generations to come. This is a project combining the most advanced medicine with exceptional care and thoughtful design to create a patient experience second-to-none. This project is about so much more than new buildings and more space. It’s about transforming care. In fact, the name of our renovation and expansion project is called: Transforming Care: The New Jersey Shore. From the outset, our goal was to create a healthcare experience for our patients where every aspect of the healing environment is designed to facilitate safe, efficient, comfortable care. Ample parking, more natural light, soothing colors, home-like furnishings, better directional signage, and more comfortable areas for visitors and families are among the elements being put in place that will enable us to create a less stressful, more hassle-free hospital. Our transformation is a chance for us to reorganize everything about our hospital around the patient. We are taking this opportunity to be meticulous about the details — the little things that make big differences for our patients. From dividing large patient floors into smaller inpatient “neighborhoods” where nurses focus on a smaller number of patients in close proximity, we are also going to bring more technology to the bedside to facilitate the sharing of information and to expedite caregiving. This expansion holds the key to our vision to be the best independent academic medical center in New Jersey. As a university medical center, we are committed to excellence in teaching tomorrow’s physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals. Creating a therapeutic and supportive environment for high-quality patient care will aid us in providing a contemporary, academic environment for teaching, training, and research. A Healing Environment If you were asked to think of a place that is bright, soothing, and ideal for healing, chances are you would not think of a hospital. Traditionally, hospitals have earned unflattering reputations for being drab and dismal, noisy, confusing, and uncomfortable. Jersey Shore is on a mission to change that perception. We have an opportunity to build and renovate our century-old campus with a pure focus on the patient — and the benefits promise to be rewarding. The idea seems so simple on the surface: build an inviting, soothing hospital, with private rooms and lots of soft lighting, to help patients heal quicker. Include easy corridors so that visitors can find their way around. Create more intimate patient care areas and surround the patient with the benefits of modern technology. However, such large-scale improvements in these areas are increasingly difficult to realize in today’s hard economic climate. Nevertheless, over the years, we’ve learned that the environment of a hospital contributes to the recovery and well-being of the patients as well as to the mind-set and spirit of those who deliver the care. It is this philosophy that serves as the cornerstone of Jersey Shore’s transformation — distinguishing our hospital as one that has been specially designed to promote the well-being of both patients and team members. We recognize that our hospital must provide logistical support for patients and caregivers as they move through the healthcare system. This requires, among other things, a well-planned infrastructure, ample space, and as pleasant an environment as possible. Since a hospital must function optimally 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, efficiency is also critical. But planning for efficiency doesn’t mean sacrificing compassion. Building a Green Hospital Early on, we chose to design in an environmentally-friendly way. “Green” hospitals are proven to help patients heal faster and better. From a workplace standpoint, employees will have a cleaner environment with less exposure to chemicals and contaminants. As a business, we will use less energy and resources in our role as a responsible corporate neighbor. Jersey Shore University Medical Center is in pursuit of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification for all the newly constructed space. LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance environmentally-friendly buildings. It recognizes performance in six key areas of human and environmental health: • Sustainable site. By selecting a previously developed site, our transformation project avoided inappropriate development of and negative environmental impacts on farmland, floodplains, and sensitive habitats. We located the project close to public transportation and are providing preferred parking incentives for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles. We are also building secure bicycle storage, showers and changing facilities that will promote alternative modes of transportation and daily physical activity. • Water savings. In order to deter from the large amounts of water used within hospitals each day, we are adding water-efficient faucets, toilets, urinals, and showerheads to help reduce water consumption by 30%, or 3,600 gallons per day. • Energy efficiency. The building’s energy systems were carefully inspected and are continually evaluated to achieve optimal performance over the lifetime of the building. When we chose the heating and cooling systems for this project, we wanted to minimize direct contributions to global warming. • Materials selection. Paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastics, metals, batteries and electronics are all part of the comprehensive recycling program at Jersey Shore to help reduce the amount of waste that would end up in a landfill. • Indoor environmental quality. Our transformation project focused on both indoor and outdoor air quality in order to provide a healthy and safe environment for patients, staff and visitors. Our new heating and cooling system will bring in 100% outside air to enhance indoor air quality and contribute to the comfort and well-being of patients, staff and visitors. Our construction team is also using low-emitting building materials, including paint, carpet and wood products, which reduce the quantity of indoor contaminants that can be odorous, irritating and harmful. • Innovation and design process. Jersey Shore will be implementing an Education and Outreach Program to provide public education on green building strategies and solutions that we have implemented. We will also have a green cleaning and housekeeping plan that reduces exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to potentially hazardous chemical contaminants that adversely impact air quality, occupant well-being and the environment. In addition, we installed a chemical-free treatment system to conserve water and electricity and avoid the release of toxic chemicals into the environment. Already attaining registration status is a true milestone. Including Jersey Shore, only a handful of hospitals in the nation are registered in pursuit of certification. The LEED program usually applies to new commercial office space. Jersey Shore is also pursuing a similar program called Green Guides for Health Care (GGHC), which mirrors LEED but also includes more hospital-specific criteria, such as ways that hospitals use potable water that is different from office buildings. Increased Capacity, State-of-the-Art Facilities Jersey Shore is the first stop for emergency care for nearly 65,000 people a year, including area residents and children as well as local workers and summer visitors, and we play a critical role in our community. We offer the region’s only Level II Trauma Center caring for the more than 1.8 million people in our two-county area, and we also serve as the area’s state-designated children’s hospital — K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital — as well as the region’s primary stroke center. The expansion of the emergency department will create the largest, most well-equipped emergency department in the region, prepared to meet the community’s growing needs and handle any emergency, from newborns to adults. These improvements will facilitate patient treatment and reduce lengthy wait times — things that are particularly critical since Jersey Shore is also the regional trauma center. The new three-story diagnostic and treatment facility will offer state-of-the-art surgery suites, cardiac catheterization labs, and a robotic laboratory. In addition, a new parking garage will make Jersey Shore more accessible. Enhanced radiology, pharmacy, laboratory, and imaging areas will equally transform the outpatient experience. The new surgical suites will provide surgeons and operating room staff with a fully integrated operating room environment. Sophisticated electronic guidance systems will centralize control by touch screen to regulate the surgical suite, including overhead mounting systems, surgical lights, operating room tables, endoscopic equipment, cameras, video systems, and documentation solutions. The new surgical suites will offer the latest technology in the field to create a comprehensive, fully integrated setting for the surgical team. These surgical suites are being built to provide patients with the best possible care and the surgical team with the ultimate in ease and convenience. The team will be able to easily regulate the surgical lights, control the equipment used during laparoscopic procedures, take pictures, video, or DVDs to document pathology, as well as call up the patient's X-rays, MRI, CAT scans to be viewed on a LCD monitor. One of these new surgery suites will be a state-of-the-art hybrid operating room equipped with biplane digital imaging system that allows physicians to perform noninvasive interventional procedures and/or open surgical procedures. The open and spacious environment, resulting from ceiling-mounted equipment, puts patients at ease and allows doctors from across different specialties to work together during procedures. This hybrid suite has a custom-designed imaging system that integrates intravascular ultrasound, dynamic CT imaging, angiography, and other imaging technologies. Leader in Heart Care By performing 10,000 procedures annually, Jersey Shore is a leader in cardiac services and the regional provider of cardiac surgery. Part of this transformation project includes the addition of a new electrophysiology lab for the diagnosis and treatment of heart arrhythmias and related conditions. This new lab allows Jersey Shore physicians to offer radiofrequency catheter ablation using a leading-edge robotic navigation system to treat potentially deadly heart rhythm disorders. This new technology provided our physicians with precise catheter control and three-dimensional (3D) navigation for accessing hard-to-reach anatomy during treatment of complex cardiac arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation. Our existing electrophysiology lab at Jersey Shore University Medical Center (only 1 year old) has state-of-the-art equipment providing enhanced imaging and mapping capabilities in treating heart rhythm disorders, specifically: • Flat-panel fluoroscopic and digital imaging (which allows for total flexibility for movement of the C-arm); • Low intensity radiation; and • 3D electroanatomic mapping. We perform approximately 1,000 pacemaker and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) procedures a year, and with our new electrophysiology lab, our procedures are expanded to include: • Mapping and localization of complex arrhythmias; • Catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation/flutter, supraventricular tachycardias, ventricular arrhythmias, and treating patients with previously failed ablations; • Cardiac resynchronization therapy for advanced congestive heart failure patients. For more information, please visit: www.jerseyshoreuniversitymedicalcenter.com/